Fleeting visitors

28th March 2003 at 00:00
Phil Whitfeld, programme manager for the HND furniture design course at Cornwall College

This is such an interesting space, with so much going on. Thinking about boats gives our students another take on design and craftsmanship. Any type of learning should be enjoyable and sometimes it's good to step back and just have fun.

Boat-builders use many of the same materials and techniques we use in furniture-making, such as steam-bending and laminating.

People think that furniture-making is mostly about wood, but we use plastics, fibreglass, recycled materials, carbon fibre. We don't use wood much these days, and neither do boat-builders. Quite a few of our students go on to work at the Pendennis shipyards or the Port Pendennis boatyards, so we have a link with the sea anyway.

The shipwright's workshop here is very similar to our workshops at college.

We'll be having a debrief later, about how the purpose of each boat has influenced its design and materials. Like the Eden Project, this museum could become a really valuable resource for us.

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